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Old 9th June 2009, 11:47   #16
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Thanks, and now I am really curious. Can someone post a pic of what the correct grill should look like?

The tyres are decent for now, and I will keep the sizes you mentioned in mind while upgrading. I am looking for Esteem rims, which are 4.5J, wider than the current 4J the Zen comes with.

Update:

The gearbox mount was loose. On trying to tighten the bolt, we discover that the whole area has been corroded and the gearbox was practically hanging loose. We apparently discovered it on time. There was a good chance that the whole suspension mount would have come off loose.

Cost of repair - Rs.6000. Car spent 4 days in the garage getting underside tinkered, but since I dont use it everyday, I didn't matter.

Reason - AC condensate drain pipe was not routed correctly, causing water to accumulate and corrode the place. Serves me right for not putting the car on a ramp before buying it. But its fixed now

Other stuff done: Engine oil, gearbox oil, all four spark plugs, oil filter, air filter, coolant - all replaced.
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Old 9th June 2009, 14:54   #17
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Congrats on your first car & your first major expense.

Now, how about plonking that V8(that you are marketing) into this one.
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Old 9th June 2009, 18:16   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_trooper View Post
Can someone post a pic of what the correct grill should look like?
Here it is

1997 Zen - c10's Photo Gallery - Team-BHP

Another type is there, I guess its after 1997, its this

1998 Zen My young at heart Zen Hatchback - protege's Photo Gallery - Team-BHP

After that Zen has the grill that your car has now.

Quote:
The tyres are decent for now, and I will keep the sizes you mentioned in mind while upgrading. I am looking for Esteem rims, which are 4.5J, wider than the current 4J the Zen comes with.
I might be wrong, but the rims you have now are 13" and they looks like the rim esteem has.
So aren't they the same ? or as you mentioned they look the same and are wider (on esteem) ?

Esteem man, you get to answer this

Last edited by yzfrj : 9th June 2009 at 18:21.
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Old 9th June 2009, 22:39   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yzfrj View Post
I might be wrong, but the rims you have now are 13" and they looks like the rim esteem has.
So aren't they the same ? or as you mentioned they look the same and are wider (on esteem) ?
Thanks for that man, I got the car with the correct grill then. But it was broken at the mounts, and I like this grill better.

And yes, the rims look exactly the same as Esteem rims (13") and are narrower by half and inch.
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Old 10th June 2009, 12:20   #20
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Talking Copycat!

@The_trooper - Ravi, You're pretty elated about getting your first car, isnt it? So much that you've copied the same text onto a letter to Business Standard Magazine, which they've published this month!

Nice nice! One should always make a halla about "sadi pehli gaddi"!
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Old 14th June 2009, 23:10   #21
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So much that you've copied the same text onto a letter to Business Standard Magazine, which they've published this month!
Huh, what?
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Old 15th June 2009, 10:44   #22
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@nitrous: What he's trying to say is that it has appeared in the letters section.

Latest Update:
The intake manifold has dummies for the water circuit. These had given way and my engine cooling system had a leak in it.

Cost of repair:
Rs.2k! (I know, I know. My garage is expensive).

I guess these problems will come up considering the age of the car.
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Old 1st March 2013, 21:17   #23
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Cool Re: Zen and the Art of Buying your First Car

The_Trooper, about four years after you posted this, I find myself in the exact same shoes as you. I bought my first car, surprise surprise, a 1997 Carb Zen! I am in that same excited phase as you were back then. I couldn't wait to shout from the rooftops, so i climbed this one by joining tbhp.

Good to see a ton of experience here around with my own make and model and others

Do you still have the Zen? How has it fared along the years? I have a few niggles with it too, which i hope to get clarified here.

Looking forward to hearing back from you and a many more bhpians.

Cheers!
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Old 2nd March 2013, 14:29   #24
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@Shridhar: Congrats for acquiring one of the most fun to drive car, which can easily put the powerfull and modern hatches of this age to shame. I used to have a ZEN 97 Carb model as well, which was given away recently with a very heavy heart. The Zen is the best car for the short sprints between two traffic signals, the 2nd gear lets you zoom past other cars so easily. I also loved the car seating position and the view which you get of the surroundings. The car has the looks that shall never age.
From where did you happen to buy your car from, and please do share the price and pictures of this beautiful little car :-)
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Old 2nd March 2013, 16:45   #25
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Default Re: Zen and the Art of Buying your First Car

Great to see people still have excitement for this amazing car!

As ZMG said, pls post details of the purchase.

My recommendation to iron out all niggles is to service it at Suraksha Bommanahalli under Suresh (till i remember his name). He is service head there. He takes good care of TeamBHP cars.

When I bought '99Carb Zen 4 yrs back, first thing i did was, all fluid change, carb cleaning, engine check with tappen adjustment. I just crossed 1Lac kms 5 days back!

However due to family demand of "working" AC and additional safety features for long drives im in huge dilemma to replace!
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Old 3rd March 2013, 13:33   #26
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Default Re: Zen and the Art of Buying your First Car

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Originally Posted by devrajman View Post
However due to family demand of "working" AC and additional safety features for long drives im in huge dilemma to replace!
I would suggest you to keep the car as a second or third car if space is not a constraint. I tell this because I sorely miss my Zen, and how I wish I could have it back. It does not make sense to sell of this beautiful and maybe in the future even a classic car at the price of peanuts. If space and money is not an issue, this sure can still be a nice car for the grocery shopping and the weekend spirited driving.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 21:11   #27
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Default Re: Zen and the Art of Buying your First Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMG View Post
@Shridhar: Congrats for acquiring one of the most fun to drive car, which can easily put the powerfull and modern hatches of this age to shame. I used to have a ZEN 97 Carb model as well, which was given away recently with a very heavy heart. The Zen is the best car for the short sprints between two traffic signals, the 2nd gear lets you zoom past other cars so easily. I also loved the car seating position and the view which you get of the surroundings. The car has the looks that shall never age.
From where did you happen to buy your car from, and please do share the price and pictures of this beautiful little car :-)
Thanks ZMG! I was looking for a used M800 for my first car when I found this gem and decided to go for it. I really haven't put its power to test yet because I'm a newbie driver: I want to get used to driving "right" and safe before I do that.

I bought it from Silicon Cars at Koramangala. Is this your little monster I have now? My number plate ends with 3123. Would be great to know It was a bhpian's car before mine!

Pics are here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by devrajman View Post
Great to see people still have excitement for this amazing car!

As ZMG said, pls post details of the purchase.

My recommendation to iron out all niggles is to service it at Suraksha Bommanahalli under Suresh (till i remember his name). He is service head there. He takes good care of TeamBHP cars.

When I bought '99Carb Zen 4 yrs back, first thing i did was, all fluid change, carb cleaning, engine check with tappen adjustment. I just crossed 1Lac kms 5 days back!

However due to family demand of "working" AC and additional safety features for long drives im in huge dilemma to replace!
Thanks for the Suraksha tip devrajman, i'll do that. I trawled through the best MASS experience thread and narrowed it down to Mandovi Bannerghatta and Suraksha. Suraksha it is now!

And i'll need all the help i can get about good service routines too, so thanks for that! Too bad you have to let go of your '99, hope it goes into good hands if you do decide to let it go. And Congrats on the 1 lakh milestone!

Looking forward to many miles.
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Old 3rd March 2013, 21:52   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shridhar View Post

I bought it from Silicon Cars at Koramangala. Is this your little monster I have now? My number plate ends with 3123. Would be great to know It was a bhpian's car before mine!
This one isn't mine :-(. It would be awesome if I could still see my Zen being taken care off. My Zen had its Regn number ending with 2690. A white color car with white bumpers. Apparently it was the first one to have body colored bumpers in south India.
Btw, whenever time permits, get the bumpers and the front grill of your car painted to white, and I can bet on this, you will love taking this car out even more. Also try and get the orignal ORVM to complete the package
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Old 20th March 2013, 13:29   #29
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Default Re: Zen and the Art of Buying your First Car

As you can see in my avatar pic, Mine is white Zen with white bumpers and white OVRM. And it looks really good.

My car service is due. Need to get some time out for service.

Also, Every service I did ( i think 4-5 services) after purchase. I have stayed full day at service center just inspecting and learning about the car.

As car gets older, its best to know what is where!
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Old 21st March 2013, 09:27   #30
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Default Re: Zen and the Art of Buying your First Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shridhar View Post
The_Trooper, about four years after you posted this, I find myself in the exact same shoes as you. I bought my first car, surprise surprise, a 1997 Carb Zen! I am in that same excited phase as you were back then. I couldn't wait to shout from the rooftops, so i climbed this one by joining tbhp.

Good to see a ton of experience here around with my own make and model and others

Do you still have the Zen? How has it fared along the years? I have a few niggles with it too, which i hope to get clarified here.

Looking forward to hearing back from you and a many more bhpians.

Cheers!
Congratulations.

There is not a single eccentric quality about this car that would stop me from recommending it. And although earlier i thought there was too much hype around it, my perception changed after I owned the car. Sometimes in India, good cars do get appreciated by the masses.

Two major problems I had

1) water accumulation through the drain at the wiper area, seeps into the firewall and surrounding areas, and finally my gearbox mount on the chassis looked like it was eaten by termites.
Easy fix, even if it costs more money, get a good quality weld job done.

2) The AC runs on R12 compressor gas, and when I had AC trouble, I had to give in and change it to R134 gas. It cost me a bomb.

Well, its an old car, and don't bother doing too much preventive maintenance. Its a never ending spend and if you dont keep a track of expenditure, you will get to a point where you will neither be able to sell it, nor will you get the same levels of comfort as a newer car.

Its a fun car, always reminded me of an RX on four wheels. Engine loves to be revved. As long as it allows you to floor the throttle, shifts gears smoothly, and brakes bring you down to a stop in good time, enjoy yourself and drive the wheels of it.

If you are on a budget, dont bother putting fatter tyres. It ruins the flickable nature of the car. If you feel it is not stable at high speeds and braking is dicey, well, drive 5kmph slower. It wont kill you. And dont really bother with poser alloys either. You and your service engineer can take a call on suspension refurb based on condition.

If you re day dreaming about Esteem or Baleno engine upgrade, then snap out of it.

What I most definitely can recommend if your engine is in good health, is a carburettor replacement. I dont know how easy/hard they are to come by now, but I put a brand new one in my car. The secondary throttle valve was stuck on my original carb, happens when previous owner is aunty or uncle. My car transformed from Zen to "this is the real Zen!"
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